Miss and rally: Bucks 103 – Nets 97

Brooklyn Nets 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +22 +/-

A marvelously complete effort. His eight assists were a new career best. When he came back into the game in the second quarter, he was a force of nature. He was like those paddles doctors in movies use to bring patients back to life. His energy on the glass, in the open floor, as a creator and as a man looking for his own offense was a delight to watch. More on him later.

John Henson, C 25 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -1 +/-

Tossed in a few short hooks and competed hard to try and keep Mason Plumlee off the glass. He only grabbed two defensive rebounds, but with only a couple of exceptions, he did a very good job of keeping Plumlee from getting to offensive rebounds, even if he did to at the expense of grabbing one himself.

Brandon Knight, PG 29 MIN | 2-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -2 +/-

Quiet game for BK, as he played only four minutes in the fourth quarter and had a lot of trouble getting his shot to fall before that. Nothing out of the ordinary for him most of the night though, as he played his usual game, only without the ball falling through the hoop as often as it usually does.

Jared Dudley, SG 33 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +15 +/-

While the rest of the Bucks failed to find much touch in the first half, Dudley kept the team afloat. He was 4-4 from three in the first half and provided some badly needed lifts as the Bucks missed shots, both open and contested, created through their half court offense possession after possession. The Nets were too slow to rotate over to Dudley most of the time, resulting in seven of his 10 field goal attempts being uncontested.

Khris Middleton, SG 29 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +10 +/-

He went just 1-6 FG in the first half, but the team seemed to focus on getting him the ball in mismatches in the post in the third quarter despite those struggles. He rewarded their confidence and rode a couple of early post touches and turnaround jumpers into a 12 point third quarter. He’s had at least two steals in each of his last seven games and has had at least one steal in every game since December 29. He’s living in the passing lanes, but never really seems to be gambling.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -10 +/-

He played a fair amount of small ball minutes next to Giannis as one of the only two bigs on the court, but it wasn’t too successful a lineup. Other than that, there wasn’t much to take note of in Ersan’s night.

Zaza Pachulia, C 16 MIN | 1-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +4 +/-

Defensively Zaza looked good again, tipping some passes inside and bringing his brand of physicality and being in the right place ball. He missed two or three shots on one possession, which hurt his final shooting numbers. Other than that, he was a contributor and it was good to see him move around without much limitation as he returned from a calf injury.

Jorge Gutierrez, PG 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +7 +/-

Didn’t make much of a difference either way.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -7 +/-

Steady as ever. I spoke with Bayless after the game and he said he’s enjoying having the ball in his hands as much as it’s been there this season. He’d rather be playing point guard and the Bucks have given him that opportunity. This was another night where he acted as a facilitator when it was needed and found his own shot when it was there. His balancing act this season has been very strong.

O.J. Mayo, SG 24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -8 +/-

It seems like every game there’s a stretch where Mayo suddenly scores seven or eight straight points. Against the Nets, it came in the fourth quarter, as the Bucks were trying to put the game away. He drove to the basket on three straight possessions, finished the layup once with a foul and hit two free throws on both of the other two drives to help keep the Nets at bay.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

DNP-CD

Kenyon Martin, PF DNP LEFT ANKLE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

Injured.

Two Things We Saw

  1. I know there were a bunch of minutes truthers out there last night that insisted on two things:

    1. Giannis was “clearly” gunning for a triple double in the third quarter, which insinuates that he altered the way he was playing in order to attain stats.2. Jason Kidd “benched” Giannis for the fourth quarter to teach him a lesson about the way he was playing.

    Regarding Giannis, unless I missed something completely, I never felt like he altered his game. He was passing the ball the same way he often does and while the Nets forced him into a few turnovers in the third, it didn’t seem to me like he was playing any different, just maybe with a little more looseness.

    To those who believe the Kidd “benching” theory: Have you watched the Bucks this season? Kidd generally rides good lineups until they aren’t good lineups anymore. He often brings Giannis back with three or four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Bucks were rolling so he didn’t go back to him. It gave him a chance to get Giannis a little rest and win a game. Let’s not create story lines just because our favorite players didn’t do what we wanted.

  2. Milwaukee missed its first 12 shots in the second quarter and fell behind by 17 points, which was the biggest deficit the team has come back from to win a game this season. Milwaukee shot just 33% in the first half, but finished the game at 41.6%.

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3 Comments

  1. It was starting to be a challenge to “keep the faith” when Bucks were down 17, but lo and behold they pulled out another win. They are a fun team to watch.

    Go Bucks!

  2. I thought Giannis did look different in the third quarter, specifically in trying to get assists. I thought there was two baskets he could have taken that he passed out of that resulted in a tip and turnover because he wanted the assist. I personally would have done the same thing, so I am not faulting him. But I definitely felt as though I noticed a change in his play, a kind of urgency.